Fishing outlook good for this week

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DES MOINES - The following is this week's fishing report from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for southeast Iowa lakes and rivers.

Big Hollow Lake
Water temperature is in the mid- to upper 70s. Curly-leaf pondweed beds are starting to die back. Black Crappie - Good: Crappies remain in 14-16 feet of water. Anglers are catching them using vertical jigging. Try slow trolling out in front of the dam. Bluegill - Fair: Spawning has wrapped up this season.  Look for most bluegills in 5-6 feet of water in the flooded trees. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass fishing has picked up some. Bass are busy feeding on this year's hatch of bluegills and bass.  Work the edges of the curly-leaf beds and back into the thick brush.

Deep Lakes
Water is very clear. Water temperature is in the upper 70s.  Bluegill - Good: Bluegills have moved into deeper water; look for them off the ends of some of the points that drop off into deeper water. Largemouth Bass - Fair: A great place to use topwater baits.  Even if the bass are in deeper water they, can easily see the surface.  Early morning or late evening bite is best.

Iowa River (Columbus Junction to Mississippi River)
The Iowa River continues to rise. Forecast to come up another 3 or 4 inches and crest sometime on Friday, before starting to fall. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing has picked up some this week with the slow rise in water levels.  Work the current breaks and back eddies where catfish are waiting for the food to come to them.

Lake Belva Deer
Water temperature is in the mid-70s. Curly-leaf pondweed is starting to die back with the warmer water temperatures. A planktonic algae bloom is turning the water green. Water clarity is 5 feet. Black Crappie - Good: Crappie fishing is picking back up. They are in their summer haunts. Anglers are picking them up while slow trolling in front of the dam and near the edge of the tree line out in front of the beach. Bluegill - Slow: Bluegill fishing has slowed as they transition from nesting sand shallow water to deeper water for the summer. Largemouth Bass - Good: Bass fishing in the morning is good using topwater lures.  Work the edges of the weed beds and over the top of the mounds at the upper end of the lake.

Lake Darling
Water temperature is 76 degrees. Water clarity is around 8 feet. Some phytoplankton are showing up. Black Crappie - Good: Anglers continue to catch crappies slow trolling or vertical jigging over the deeper water habitat in 12-14 feet of water. Bluegill - Good: Few males remain on the nests. Find most in 5-6 feet of water around the brush piles or  edges of the weed beds. Largemouth Bass - Good: Most bigger fish have moved into deeper water and are hanging out at 6 to 8 feet deep.

Lost Grove Lake
Water temperature is about 70 degrees. Weed beds are established. Water remains clear.  Black Crappie - Fair: Slow troll along the north side in deeper water just over top of the tree lines completely underwater. Bluegill - Good: Most bluegills have moved out to their deeper water summer homes. Try the brush and small trees just out from the weed lines in 6-7 feet of water. Largemouth Bass - Good: Try spinnerbaits along the outside edges of the weed beds and in shallow water. 

Skunk River (Rose Hill to Coppock)
The Skunk River has gone up a bit this week. Channel Catfish - Good: Catfishing is holding steady; use live baits.

Mississippi River Pool 19 
Tailwater stage is 8.59 feet at Lock and Dam 18 and is falling. Flood stage is 15 feet. Bluegill - No Report: Use pieces of worm under a bobber in the backwaters around brush piles. Channel Catfish - No Report: Try stink bait or nightcrawlers around snags and brush piles along the main channel and side channels. White Crappie - No Report: Use jigs and minnows or minnows under a bobber in the backwaters around brush piles. 

River stage has been falling this past week. Water clarity is fair to poor with recent rainsWater temperature is around 72 degrees. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.

For more information on the above lakes call the Lake Darling Fisheries Office at 319- 694-2430.

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